Not many 17-year-old young adults would give up a Saturday for anything short of sleeping late and hanging out with friends. Blake Bennett is one exception.
Bennett is homeschooled. She plays volleyball and is active in her church. Every Wednesday Bennett can be found at ACCESS rocking babies, playing with toddlers and making smiles brighter all around the building. Every Saturday, she can be found catching up on school work at home.
Bennett said her mom has worked for ACCESS for a long time and she has a brother with a disability. “I’ve been around this my whole life,” Bennett said. “I love getting to watch the kids grow up and change.”
Bennett said some of the tasks she helps with are playing with the children outside, fixing snacks, and changing diapers. Her time is mostly spent in the baby room, but she fills in wherever she is needed. Bennett said she loves working with kids and hopes to one day become a therapist.
Every Saturday, she can be found catching up on school work at home.
Like Bennett, you can help ACCESS. “We are always looking for volunteers, Becca Green, Director of Marketing and Communications, said. ACCESS holds a number of events throughout the year in which individuals can help including their annual plant and ceramic sales, special events like their annual track meet, and prom hosted by Little Rock Christian. Pulaski Academy even has a few young students who stop in from time to time to read to the kids at ACCESS. “These special events could not be pulled off without volunteers,” Green added.
ACCESS will hold their annual Holiday Sale on December 7. Simply purchasing the handmade items created by ACCESS students can make a big difference.
Monetary donations are also welcome. If you would like to make a donation, contact Kellie Wilhite at 501-217-8600 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACCESS offers full-time education, therapy, training and activities for children and youths with learning disabilities.
ACCESS is a 501c3 nonprofit learning disabilities resource center for children, parents, educators and others. Founded in 1994 by two speech-language pathologists and a special educator, the center comprises three main branches: The ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center, ACCESS Therapy, and ACCESS Schools.
The ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center is a full-service clinic offering comprehensive developmental, psychological and psycho-educational evaluations (cognitive testing) and diagnoses; academic therapy (specialized tutoring for children and youths with learning disabilities); and technology training for students, parents and professionals.
ACCESS Therapy is an outpatient pediatric speech, physical and occupational therapy clinic specializing in disabilities and disorders linked to language impairment.
ACCESS Schools is comprised of a preschool and an academy serving students with developmental delays and learning disabilities, including but not limited to ADD/ADHD, apraxia, autism, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, dyslexia, feeding disorders, hearing impairment, language delays, learning disabilities, mild mental retardation, reading disorders, sensory integration disorder and written expression disorders. Students in the preschool and academy are ages 3 to 21.
For more information on ACCESS, visit www.accessgroupinc.org.